Graduation Year

Spring 2011

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Lisa Cody

Rights Information

© 2011 Amy Jacobson


In my thesis, I examine the racial history of New Orleans, Louisiana, through the lens of Mardi Gras. After the introduction, I begin with the history of the celebration and its European origin, in chapter two. Then, I move onto the discovery of New Orleans. In chapter three I look at the 1811 slave rebellion in New Orleans, which was the largest in United States' history. In chapter four I explore race and Mardi Gras in the nineteenth century, and the same in chapter five, but in the twentieth century. In chapter six I look at the twenty-first century in New Orleans, and Hurricane Katrina, in particular. In sum, I argue that the practice of Mardi Gras and the existence of racial conflict both separate and unite the New Orleanian community, producing the attitude and identity of the “New Orleanian.”